The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until the summer of 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced.

Pressure had been mounting on the International Olympic Committee, the local organisers and the Japanese government to confirm a delay, and is was confirmed on Tuesday that Abe had proposed a one-year postponement on a conference call with IOC president Thomas Bach.

A tweet from Abe’s official account read: “After his telephone talks with IOC President Bach, PM Abe spoke to the press and explained that the two have agreed that the Tokyo Olympic Games would not be cancelled, and the games will be held by the summer of 2021.”

The IOC’s executive board is now set to formally announce a postponement later on Tuesday.

There have been confirmed cases of the coronavirus in 165 countries with well over 300,000 people diagnosed so far.

Social distancing restrictions imposed by national governments across the globe have had a huge impact on athletes’ ability to prepare and train for the Games, and they had been crying out for the IOC to end the uncertainty and postpone.